Tag Archives: Benjamin Jacob Kerensa

Strickland Case at Oregon Appeals Court: If Verdict Allowed to Stand, “Nobody Is Safe” From Antifa

The case of the Portland, Oregon man, forced to pull, but not fire, his legally concealed weapon to ward off a mob of Antifa protesters, has been heard before the Oregon State Court of Appeals.

Photo: Laughing at Liberals

Michael Strickland’s conviction on 21 counts against him, stemming from a July 7, 2016 protest,  was appealed in oral arguments Friday morning before a three judge panel of the Oregon Appeals Court.

Photo: Victoria Taft

Robert Barnes represented Strickland while Susan Howe was the attorney for the state of Oregon.

The case was heard by Douglas Tookey (appointed by Gov. Kitzhaber), Scott Shorr  (appointed by Gov. Kate Brown) and Rex Armstrong (elected to six year term in 2018) in a hearing that lasted less than an hour on Friday morning.

Strickland summed up the proceedings in a news release (see below):

“We raised several assignments of error regarding the admissibility of certain evidence, denial of change venue that was based on defamatory and untrue statements made by Multnomah County deputy district attorney Kate Molina to media, the 1st Amendment restrictions that have been placed on me by the courts, and the fact that I was denied my Constitutional right to face my accusers.”

He added:

“If the courts can do this to a privileged, straight, white, male in Portland, then just imagine what they can do to an underprivileged, transgender, immigrant of color in a rural county.”

Barnes, who practices law in California and Nevada, worked with local co-counsel, and traveled to Oregon to argue the case.

Barnes agreed that Strickland is Antifa’s ‘Victim Zero’ and asserted that judges all over the country are woefully ignorant of the violence committed by this group. He said Strickland’s case has sent a message to Portland and beyond:

“[R]ight now if you’re in the black bloc what do you think? I can harass somebody and get them arrested if they try to defend themselves. And then they want people not to defend themselves so that they feel terrified, so that the feel scared, so that they feel frightened, so that their behavior can be publicly and privately coerced. And that’s the danger. And that’s why this case is bigger than one person. This battle will be just the beginning of a long extended battle. If this can happen to him here it can happen to anyone, anywhere, and it means that nobody is safe. And that’s why this case is so significant.”

“This battle will be just the beginning of a long extended battle. If this can happen to him here it can happen to anyone, anywhere, and it means that nobody is safe. And that’s why this case is so significant.”

Barnes told VictoriaTaft.com,  and others gathered outside the court house, that it’s easy for an appeals court to simply rubber- stamp the trial verdict, but he wanted to remind the judges of a higher legal principle:

“[W]e were trying to force the issue back into the legal terrain to sort of the high plains of what the law is ‘cause that’s what protects everybody and it needs to be equally applied. And it’s forcing them to face that when they don’t always want to face that when the easy political decision for them to make is just to affirm the case and not to overturn the police; not to overturn the prosecutor; not to overturn the judge not to enhance and expand the protection of ordinary individuals against the black bloc of Portland.”

“[T]he easy political decision for them to make is just to affirm the case and not to overturn the police; not to overturn the prosecutor; not to overturn the judge not to enhance and expand the protection of ordinary individuals against the black bloc of Portland.”

After the conclusion of the hearing on third floor of the Oregon Supreme Court building, Strickland told those gathered:

“I think at its heart that it is a first amendment issue. And I hope that the judges realize that a person has a first amendment right to be a public area, filming a public event and that a mob of thugs do not have the right to use force to prevent that person from doing such and that my actions were solely in self defense on this case.”

Strickland issued a press release (below) and a YouTube video about the hearing:

“LaughingAtLiberals
Published on Oct 12, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

The Oregon Court of Appeals heard oral arguments this morning, October 12th, 2018, regarding the matter of State Of Oregon vs Michael Strickland, appeals case number A165019. I, Michael Strickland, am hopeful that the honorable Judges of the appeals court will recognize the dangerous case law precedent that was set in this case and that they will vacate my conviction.

We raised several assignments of error regarding the admissibility of certain evidence, denial of change venue that was based on defamatory and untrue statements made by Multnomah County deputy district attorney Kate Molina to media, the 1st Amendment restrictions that have been placed on me by the courts, and the fact that I was denied my Constitutional right to face my accusers.

If the courts can do this to a privileged, straight, white, male in Portland, then just imagine what they can do to an underprivileged, transgender, immigrant of color in a rural county.

At its heart, I believe my case is a 1st Amendment matter. As of the verdict of finding me guilty, the courts have essentially ruled that a person does not have a right to be in a public area, filming a public event, in their capacity as a professional news journalist, and that a mob of aggressive thugs have the right to use physical force and intimidation tactics to prevent a journalist from engaging in free press, and if the journalist tries to stop the thugs from assaulting and robbing them, then it’s the journalist who is guilty of crimes, while those who perpetrate and instigate violence become the victims.

This should strike fear into every journalist in the state.

Representing me on the appeal is LA-based Attorney Robert Barnes, who says “Right now if you’re in the black bloc [anarchists, antifa], what do you think? I can harass somebody and get away with it. I can harass somebody and get them arrested if they try to defend themselves. And that’s what they want. They want people to not defend themselves. And then they want people not to defend themselves so that they feel terrified, so that the feel scared, so that they feel frightened, so that their behavior can be publicly and privately coerced. And that’s the danger. And that’s why this case is bigger than one person.”

As we saw in the viral videos from last weekend, mob violence has been legalized. This is due, at least in part, to the ruling in case. Political violence is now encouraged and the mob is emboldened to attack people on the streets because they know they can legally get away with it, and anyone who opposes them or finds themselves in a position where they have to defend themselves against direct physical threats is guilty of crimes.

This puts everyone in Oregon at risk of being robbed, injured or worse. For example, a group of KKK members now have the legal right and lawfully authority to attack people of color in the street. Everyone’s rights to free press, to be safe from mob violence, and to defend one’s self are in the hands of the Honorable Judges of the Court of Appeals”

Strickland Attorney Robert Barnes Drops a Truth Bomb About Antifa & Portland ‘Justice’ and It’s a Stunner

Before they chased old men in cars and canceled parades;  before Ann Coulter, Ben Shapiro, Milo Yianoppolous and Charles Murray were silenced by mob violence; before Professional Paid Protesters, Incorporated™ screamed at Senators, overturned cars or set a ‘deplorable’s’ limo on fire; there was Michael Strickland.

Strickland is believed to be Antifa’s ‘victim zero.

July 7, 2016 was just another day for the videographer who filmed Portland, Oregon’s protest scene for his YouTube channel “Laughing at Liberals.”

Unbeknownst to Strickland, his very success on YouTube and in placing his videos on national news outlets, would be kryptonite to the balaclava clad wing nuts of Antifa. As one Portland anarchist admitted to me, Antifa didn’t like how Strickland held up a mirror to the mob and made them look stupid.

A previous attempt to ruin his video by calling him epithets and getting in his face at a candlelight vigil for the Orlando shooting victims didn’t work. By July, Antifa had contrived a way to shut him up for good.

As admitted in court, Antifa and Black Lives Matter/Don’t Shoot Portland agitators conspired in advance to throw the journalist out of ‘their’ protest, which was being held on public property.

The mob surrounded Strickland, roughing him up, hitting him with their flag staffs (a typical weapon) and punching him as he recorded their protest.

Here’s a typical cache of weapons from Antifa ‘protests’:

Portland Police Bureau

A few minutes later, angry that Strickland hadn’t acceded to their violent tactics, the mob came at him again, attempting to surround him like a pack of jackals.

Laughing at Liberals

One of his attackers was 400 pound Benjamin Kerensa, a convicted bomb hoaxer, hacker, law enforcement impersonator, fabulist and Antifa ally.

Laughing at Liberals

Strickland drew his licensed concealed handgun that Antifa knew he had (I know, I asked), a Glock semi automatic pistol. Strickland, showing amazing trigger discipline – never allowing his finger to come close to the trigger – held off his attackers as he backed away from the mob. To be clear,  Strickland was the only person hurt that day. No shots were ever fired.

Screenshot/Laughing at Liberals

People stunned to hear about the old man chased down the streets of Portland by the mob were equally shocked to learn that the Portland Police Bureau stood by and did nothing. Worse, the Bureau  has invited the mob to file complaints against the old man in the car. Not a typo.

Twitter

Indeed, in Portland, self defense has been turned on its ear. For being targeted, beaten and forced to draw his weapon to save himself, Strickland was prosecuted. Members of the mob, which had beaten him once already and were running in to finish him off, were magically transformed into victims.

Laughing at Liberals’ ‘Victims’

The book was thrown at Strickland. A perjurious ‘police report’ issued by one of the protest organizers and the guy who conspired to get Strickland tossed from the July protest  was used by Leftist prosecutors  to enhance the videographer’s bail to $250,000 – nearly that of a murderer.

Strickland’s case was heard by a Portland judge who found him guilty of all charges, which included ten felonies (for his ten ‘victims’).

People are just getting wind of Portland ‘justice’ after the car chasing caper:

Comedian Tim Young couldn’t believe that the victim was being transformed into the perpetrator in the car chasing attack,

“Are you supposed to sit in your car until they’re finished?”

Robert Barnes, noted defense attorney and Strickland’s appeals attorney, had a ready answer for Young:

He laid out a few more truth bombs on ‘justice’ in Portland:

Michael Santella summed up what appears to be wrong with the Peoples Republic of Portland – no leadership or political will to stop the mob:

Portland’s laissez faire attitude toward thugs on the streets has taken a toll on the city’s reputation and on the citizens’ sense of equal justice in Multnomah County:

Roy Batty put it a different way. Antifa taking over the streets is simply “government sanctioned anarchy:”

Batty will get his wish. Strickland’s appeals case will be heard soon.

Go here for some necessary background on the Strickland case.

Antifa Labeled as “Terrorist” Group by DHS – Why Portland’s Strickland Attack Was Canary in Coalmine

In a little noted story one year ago, Politico reported that Department of Homeland Security “confidential intelligence” documents showed that  “antifascists,” known as  “Antifa,” are now considered a domestic terror group.

Those who have observed the violence by Portland Professional Protester, Incorporated, Antifa edition, are not surprised by the recent domestic terrorism designation. In fact, most would probably say ‘what took you so long?’

The report,  disseminated within DHS in April 2016, is an assessment of  violent groups, and reveals that the Pacific Northwest region is a national ‘leader’ in  Leftist violent extremism:

” … US extremist attacks noted in this study occurred in multiple states,  the majority of  incidents occurred in the Pacific Northwest.” 

Portlanders have watched in disgust as the City ‘leaders’ have thrown their lot in with the protesters,  leaving law-abiding citizens adrift without representation. The rule-of-law has become a two track system – one for Antifa and Portland Professional Protesters and the regular, tougher one for everyone else.

You’d think that after the nine-year-long blockbuster investigation of Oregon based eco and animal terrorists known as “The Family” that local leaders would catch a clue. Wrong.

Either in thrall of ACLU and Lawyers Guild attorneys, or out of fear for their own safety – or both –  city officials have looked the other way all while making public pronouncements about the virtue of Antifa’s crusade. Maybe it’s the contact high outside City Hall that convinced them capitulation would keep the mob from their door.

Oh, look, someone’s at the door.

Knock, knock.

Who’s there?

The mob.

Antifa storms Portland City Hall to protest police stopping their violence at Patriot Prayer ‘free speech’ rally.

Antifa has responded to Official Portland’s endorsement by bashing heads, detonating IEDs,  setting fires, hitting people with ‘flag’ staffs, hurling fire works, menacing, attacking cops, blocking freeways and roads, conspiring against videographers (see Mike Strickland and Leo Stratton stories nearby),  and deploying chemical sprays.

Official Protester Portland has given the mob its seal-of-approval because, after all, these  virtuous, Black bloc, balaclava clad crusaders ridding the world of all things “fascist” are on the side of angels don’t ‘cha know.

Oregonians are wary of coming downtown, especially at night, because they’re afraid to discover they’ve been transmogrified into a Nazi and be ‘dealt’ with by Antifa.

Mayor Ted Wheeler has cheered the violent protesters on, offered them public support and ordered police to stand down during violent clashes except once, and that was only recently.

However, what is new is the seriousness with which at least federal law enforcement will potentially treat the violent political gang.

Note this from Politico:

“Previously unreported documents disclose that by April 2016, authorities believed that “anarchist extremists” were the primary instigators of violence at public rallies against a range of targets. They were blamed by authorities for attacks on the police, government and political institutions, along with symbols of “the capitalist system,” racism, social injustice and fascism, according to a confidential 2016 joint intelligence assessment by DHS and the FBI.”

The report, called the Baseline Comparison of US and Foreign Anarchist Extremist Movements, reported that during 2013 and 2014 things began to heat up in both Michigan and the PNW with violent groups.

A group then known as the Plockers, an outgrowth of 2011’s Occupy Portland, began to squat in foreclosed houses and refuse to leave. According to the report, there were multiple arsons committed by these activists in their anti-gentrification schemes.

As we’ve seen over the years and chronicled here and on my radio shows, the same people who were active in the “BushHitler” days, became Obamabots and Bernie Bros. Others on the fringes learned from the Seattle WTO conflagration and thus became a subset of these anarchists, wearing their Black bloc clothing and balaclavas.

Antifa derived from this group. Portland anarchists have told me they don’t share Antifa’s world view,  but for most, it’s a distinction without a difference.

The report worries that “anarchist extremist” “antifascists” – come on guys, you can just call them Antifa – will become more violent in the U.S. and the world.

Read the report for yourself and note that the deep dive into Antifa ended in spring of 2016 as Antifa was  getting absolutely triggered over the presidential election just months away.

Enter Mike Strickland.

In July of 2016, Portland Professional Protester members held a “Don’t Shoot PDX” Black Lives Matter march and rally and noticed videographer Mike Strickland in their midst. Strickland, the owner of the YouTube channel, “Laughing at Liberals,” often covered Portland’s Leftist rallies and marches. His material regularly made national news.

Organizer of the event, John Slaughter, admitted in court that he and others conspired to rough up Strickland and throw him out of their event, which was being held on a public street. They hit Strickland with their flag staffs, punched him and then, when they saw he had retreated to another spot at the rally, organized another rush at him whereupon he pulled his legal pistol and, while not even putting his finger near the trigger, held off the gang. No shots were fired.

Strickland was arrested, charged and put on trial, jailed and his case will be heard on appeal next month.

Repeating. In Portland, Oregon the guy who was  doing his job in what we thought was a free country, reporting on protesters on a public street whom he has covered many times before, was forced to pull his pistol to defend himself against a marauding band of thugs, one of whom, Benjamin Kerensa, was 400 pounds. And Strickland was jailed.

The chief reason why Strickland was treated like a criminal by the Multnomah County DA’s office? Slaughter claimed, without providing proof, that Strickland sent him racist text messages. Strickland text messages were never presented to buttress that claim because they didn’t exist. But the DA believed Slaughter and poured on the charges and bail for Strickland.

Within months of the Strickland assault, similar tactics were used to silence conservative speakers on college campuses.

The flaccid response by police and university officials, largely due to their endorsement of their Antifa heroes, gave rise to the right wing groups holding marches and rallies to draw out Antifa and respond to their violence with force of their own.

Here’s where we get to a crucial point about Portland and Antifa. Politico reported that federal officials believe Antifa is organized and connected with a national and international organization:

” … [A]uthorities following them believe they are organized via decentralized networks of cells that coordinate with each other. Often, they spend weeks planning for violence at upcoming events…

Dozens of armed anti-fascist groups have emerged, including Redneck Revolt and the Red Guards, according to the reports and interviews. One report from New Jersey authorities said self-described antifa groups have been established in cities including New York, Philadelphia, Chicago and San Francisco.

Some of the DHS and FBI intelligence reports began flagging the antifa protesters before the election.

That means that with federal law enforcement involved could be designated a continuing criminal enterprise and those in it charged with giving material support to a terrorist organization.

For real victims, that means that there is another avenue for justice outside the Leftist Multnomah County Courthouse. And that means the possibilities of civil rights violations charges against  Antifa and the system of justice that rewards their violence with light sentences and low bail.

To sum up: Antifa is a violent, anarchistic group, with national and international ties, that uses violence and destruction as a weapon of terror. The Pacific Northwest is the biggest hotbed of this activity. If Portland, Oregon is ground zero, Mike Strickland was patient zero.

Give here to his defense fund.

How a False Police Report Was Used by Multnomah County DA to Run Up Bail & Deprive Mike Strickland of His Liberty

On July 7, 2016, Mike Strickland, known as “Laughing at Liberals” on YouTube, was attacked by Antifa/Black Bloc anarchist/Black Lives Matter protesters at an event which billed itself as “Don’t Shoot Portland.”

In the run-up to the march and anti-gun protest, self described Black Panther organizers, including Jeelani Mutulu Haru Shareef, urged protesters to  carry guns, “run up” on cops and use guns to take out cops who might hurt protesters.

“If you see me move, I’m moving in violence.” 

PCC women’s basketball coach John Slaughter, one of the organizers of the ironically named “Don’t Shoot” event,  was also one the men conducting the pre-march instructions before the march and rally.

Holding his toddler, Slaughter urged the crowd to get out of the way if they couldn’t hurt cops and let others do it for them. He yelled so fiercely to the gathered (mostly white) crowd that his toddler started crying.

During the protest-march, Strickland was roughed up by a cell of Antifa protesters led by Ben Kerensa, the hefty 300 400 pound computer hacker, bomb hoaxer and professional protester.

Kerensa is a multiple federal and state felon who’s done time in the penitentiary.

Other thugs used their black bloc flag staffs to hit Strickland.  Kerensa admitted later in court that he struck Strickland.

He’s never been brought up on assault charges.

When the same group tried to run Strickland out of the protest by coming at him again, he asked the crowd to stay back, as he backed away.

As they continued advancing, Strickland grabbed his  licensed Glock pistol and ordered them to stay away from him as he continued to back away from the crowd. His finger was never on the trigger.

Shareef also menaced Strickland as he backed away from his attackers and followed him along a downtown Portland street.

But it was Strickland who was arrested and charged with two misdemeanors, ticketed, and told to show up the next day in court.

The next day, the prosecutor Katharine “Kate” Molina, presented hearsay testimony and lies to increase Strickland’s charges and his bail.

As Strickland points out in his video below, Molina used a false police report to tie him to alleged threats suffered by protester none other than John Slaughter at an event the month before.

Here is what she represented to a judge:

“I’ve had a chance to review other reports, um, one specifically addressing addressing an incident on June 12th of this year, uh, where, uh attendees were going to a candlelight vigil in honor of the victims of the Orlando, um, nightclub shooting, and that Mr. Strickland was present and was, um, disrupting the vigil by taking videotape of the protest..er excuse me, the attendees who were there.

Um, when one of the attendees, um, asked Mr. Strickland um, to leave, um, there was, um, some sort of exchange, I believe, and, within a day or so, that attendee started receiving numerous phone calls and text messages on a daily basis that were of a threatening and on a race based nature, um, and based on that attendees information about Mr. Strickland, whom he believes identifies himself as a white nationalist-anarchist, um, believed that Mr. Strickland was behind and orchestrating those threatening text messages and phone calls.

So based on that prior conduct that the state is aware of, um, based on reports reviewed, as well as the nature of the current offense, um, given the reason for the protest last night, the state has serious concerns about, um, Mr. Strickland, um being out in the community without supervision at this time. So the state is asking that he be taken back into custody and that bail be increased to $250,000. I’m also asking for a release decision (?) [unintelligible] evaluation only under the condition of no weapon, no ammunition and strict compliance.”

Look at Molina’s statement that I transcribed from Strickland’s video (see it below). Note the information she presents to the judge as true  and consider the language she used as her “evidence”:

“that attendee started receiving numerous phone calls and text messages on a daily basis  …  were of a threatening and … race based nature,”

The “attendee,” Slaughter, began getting calls and texts. That’s because the “attendee” insisted Strickland use his phone number in his video. In a video showing Slaughter approving of the violent anti-police rhetoric and pro gun speech at the anti gun event a month earlier, he also offered to give protesters his phone number. Apparently, this is part of his schtick.

Strickland displayed the number in the Orlando vigil video.

I don’t think Strickland should have included Slaughter’s phone number in the video, but that’s really not the point here.

The salient points are:

  1. Were there any calls?
  2. How many?
  3. Who called him?
  4. Where’s the call log of who called him?
  5. Where is the evidence of those voice mails and or text messages which “were frequent”and allegedly racist?
  6. Where’s the evidence that Strickland “orchestrated them”?
  7. Where’s the evidence of any “threats” received whatsoever?

Nowhere, that’s where.

Surely, a deputy DA testifying before a judge should weigh actual evidence before depriving a person of their liberty. But that didn’t happen here.

Slaughter held himself out as a leader of Black Lives Matter and Don’t Shoot Portland. Surely, he’d be savvy enough to save ‘evidence’ of someone sending racist and threatening messages. Call logs on cell phones and network phone systems at a government agency such as PCC would certainly retain information. It had only been one month since this supposedly horrible thing had happened to Slaughter by a man “whom he believes identifies himself  is a white nationalist anarchist.”

Well, if you’re a professional BLM and anti gun protester such as John Slaughter, this should be public relations GOLD!

You’re the leader of your group and your allies are  Black Panthers (black nationalists)  AND YOU’VE FOUND A REAL LIVE WHITE NATIONALIST!! Send out the press release!

But he didn’t, of course, because he knew Strickland wasn’t a racist.

Worse, she assumed his assumptions that Strickland “identifies himself as a white nationalist anarchist” were true. Is  “whom he believes identifies himself” the standard of proof now?

And what the heck is a “white nationalist anarchist” anyway? Let’s ask John Slaughter. He apparently is the only one who does.

What he did do was file a phony police report that Strickland never heard about until Molina used it to increase the charges and the bail.

In short, a prosecutor’s reckless assumption based on phony and outrageous assumptions by Slaughter meant 21 charges and a $250,000 fine and thousands upon thousands of dollars in legal fees for Mike Strickland.

As for the “white nationalist” clap trap, as we’ve seen over and over and over again during the Antifa, black bloc anarchist, professional protester events, if you disagree with them you’re automatically labeled a racist.  Antifa must debase their opponents and ascribe every sordid misdeed to them in order to puff themselves up to signal to others that their anti free speech violence is somehow ‘noble.’

Worse, he could have been sent to prison for 50 years on all the felony charges. As it was, he was deprived of his liberty for 40 days. It’s an outrage.

As Strickland points out in his video, he lost his liberty over a false police report. If it can happen to him it can happen to you.